Saturday, July 5, 2014

Make Your Own Meal Mixes in Mylar Bags

Whether you want to stop eating processed foods, or save money, making your own
mixes save time, money and are just better for you.
These originally are jar mixes but I use them in mylar bags and add oxygen
absorbers for quick meals for food storage!

2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup beef bouillon powder
2 tablespoons onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 lb ground beef
1 cup water
1/2 cup macaroni noodles, raw
2 (14 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup hamburger, helping mix

1 lb ground beef
2 cups water
1/2 cup hamburger, helping mix
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 cup sour cream

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup water
6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup hamburger, helping mix
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup hamburger, helping mix
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 (16 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 cups lasagna noodles, uncooked, broken in bits
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded


Mix the ingredients together and store in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber

With a sharpie write the additions and directions on the bag:
Brown ground beef and drain.
Add remaining ingredients.
Combine well and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.

Brown ground beef and drain.
Add water, mix, and uncooked egg noodles.
Simmer 20 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Stir in sour cream and serve.

Brown ground beef and drain.
Add rest of ingredients.
Simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove cover and cook until excess water has evaporated.

Brown ground beef and drain.
Add mix, onion, water, tomato sauce, lasagna noodles and parmesan cheese in large skillet.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until noodles are cooked.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Turn off heat and let cheese melt.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

DIY Baby Gate

Ok, as many of you know we moved into a bigger place. I love it! However, we needed baby gates for my daycare. Have you bought a baby gate recently? They might as well finance them! They are expensive. So I got creative and made my own. I bought two shower curtain rods, good 'ol Walmart! Used a recycled flat sheet and voila... two baby gates that are definitely little kid proof, and because we rent, no holes in the walls!

Oh, and no ugly white clunky metal thing leaning on the walls after daycare hours, they roll up and tuck away in the closet! YIPPEE!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Honey Dijon Curry Chicken, Baked or Grilled!

Chicken – 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent)
1 1/2 cups honey
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Dijon mustard or Stone Ground Brown mustard
1 T Curry Powder
2 tsp Salt
In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sauce is smooth and ingredients are dissolved. About 3 minutes. Cool.

To grill immediately: Place chicken in shallow container and add just enough sauce to cover – reserve remaining sauce and refrigerate. Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Grill until chicken in done, juices will run clear. Serve with warmed sauce.

To freeze raw: Divide cooled sauce and raw chicken among freezer storage containers. Freeze. To cook, place the frozen chicken and sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 f. After 45 minutes separate the chicken pieces so that they are in a single layer. Be sure to put the meatier side of the chicken down into the pan and sauce. Bake for 1-1/2 longer or until the sauce is thick and sticky and the chicken is cooked and nicely browned. This method takes a lot longer to cook, but it’s necessary for the sauce to caramelize correctly.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Bisquick like Mix:
9 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk solids
2 cups shortening (which does not
    require refrigeration)

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar and sugar three times. Add dry milk. Mix well. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives until mixture looks like cornmeal. Store in covered container at room temperature.

Use in recipes just as you would "bisquick"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Orange Beef Stew

2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes (I scrub them good, but leave the skins on)
1 bunch of scallions
2 cups of orange juice (fresh juice is best, organic pasteurized juice is fine too)
1 tablespoon of rapadura sugar (or honey or maple syrup)
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (or whole-wheat flour)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh is best, but not having to cut up garlic is so nice!)
3 to 4 pounds of chuck roast (or any other kind of roast), chopped into cubes or two pieces
2 cups of beef broth (I use homemade stock)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Label 2 one-gallon freezer bags.
After chopping, divide everything evenly into the two bags. Shake them up, seal, and lay flat in the freezer.
Day of cooking: Pull one bag from the freezer and lay it on the counter for several minutes to slightly thaw. Peel away the bag and dump the contents into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
Serve with fresh salad and homemade sourdough bread, if you have it.

Freezer Chicken Spaghetti

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, cubed
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 pounds 2% Velveeta, cubed
1 1/2 cups light sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
1 (7-ounce) can diced green chilies (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
noodles of your choice

Combine all ingredients (except noodles) in a bowl.
Put into gallon freezer bag and freeze.
To Serve-
Remove from freezer and crock for 6-8 hours on LOW.

Cook noodles then add into cheesy chicken mix.This might look a little runny after cooking, but when it cools it will thicken. You could also add in an extra can of cream of
soup if you desire.

Freezer Chicken Pesto Filled Shells

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells
recipe adapted from What's cookin, Chicago?
original Joelen recipe

12-16 jumbo pasta shells
water for boiling pasta
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese + 1/4 cup for topping
3 tablespoons prepared pesto (homemade or store bought)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over high heat, boil water and prepare pasta shells as directed on package. Cook pasta shells only until al dente. The pasta will finish cooking when the dish is baked. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts.

* To make ahead/freezer meals - Prepare as directed but place filled shells in an oven- and freezer-proof baking dish. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells, cover and freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My shopping list for freezer group this weekend

Remember everyone, you purchase all your own meat, including the pepperoni. I will be getting all the rest, and splitting the cost. Here is my list! This time we will have 6 people cooking.

36-48 russett potatoes
48 red potatoes
48 carrots (regular)
12 bags (small) baby carrots
60 onions (any)
6 red onions
12 bottles of catalina dressing
18 cups ketchup
1 bottle liquid smoke
1 large container of season salt
6 cups brown sugar
6 cups white vinegar
48 green bell peppers
24 red bell peppers
24 limes
24 (1 lb.)bags frozen corn
12 (1 lb.) bags frozen broccoli florets
12 zucchini
12 (10 oz.) bags frozen peas
12 (4 oz.) cans mushrooms
60 cups shredded mozzarella
6 ( 1 lb.) bags rotini
24 cans cream of mushroom soup
12 pkgs. onion soup mix
24 jars alfredo sauce
24 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
12 bunches of cilantro
12 bags frozen hashbrowns
24 cans cream of chicken soup
24 cups sour cream
12 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 cups butter
24 cups cornflakes
12 pkgs. taco seasoning
12 (4 oz.) cans diced green chilis
24 cans black beans
36 garlic cloves
24 cans stewed tomatoes
1 large bottle cumin
12 cans rotel
24 large cans spaghetti sauce
108 ziploc gallon bags

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Freezer Cooking Menu

March is already here, thank goodness the snow is melting as we speak!
I have gotten this months freezer menu done, sorry it's not before the first, but I am a little busy anymore.
We will prepare two each of the following meals in our cooking group.
*Russian stew
*Slow Cooker BBQ Spareribs
*Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
*Black Bean Taco Soup
*Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
*Chicken Cacciatore
*Hearty Beef Stew
*Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ corn and blackbeans
*Crockpot Fajitas
*Pizza Pasta

We may get adventurous and make individual pizza kits for the kids, but we will see!
This will make our dinner total 18! That is possible.
Most of these are going to be freezer to crockpot meals, which are my favorite. They take much less time and less prep. Most everything can be just dumped into a bag. Most of these recipes came from . They have great recipes I love to use! Thanks!

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
3-4 potatoes, chunked
1 bag baby carrots
1 onion chopped
1 bottle catalina dressing

Mix all ingredients in a ziploc, plus fill bottle one time w water, pour into bag. Crockpothigh 3-4 hrs. Great served w/ sky high biscuits.

1-2 lbs of country-style pork ribs
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 Tablespoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
Place pork in resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over pork. Mix together in bag and zip closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.

1 (32 oz) bag frozen shredded hashbrowns
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup (reduced fat is fine)
2 cups sour cream (light is fine)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 cups crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Peel potatoes and boil for 30 minutes, until just tender. Cool and grate into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish (or put frozen hashbrowns into the baking dish). Combine soup, sour cream, cheese, the 1/2 cup melted butter, and onions. Gently blend into potatoes. Combine crushed corn flakes and the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle on top. Make at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey works too!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 package mild taco seasoning mix
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (16 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans)
2 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis
Brown meat and onion, drain. Let meat cool for a minute, then dump into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag.
Dump the remaining ingredients into the bag, mix together, and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 2-3 1/2 hours.
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

1 ½ pounds chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) bag frozen broccoli florets
2 (16 oz) jars Alfredo sauce (I use light)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
Serve with cooked fettuccine noodles, green salad.

1 lb chicken breasts
1 (26 oz) jar of chunky vegetable-style spaghetti sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together.
Garnish: chopped black olives, shredded Parm cheese
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
Serve with cooked spaghetti noodles and garnish with olives and cheese.

1 pound beef stew cubes
4 carrots, sliced
4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cans 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) package frozen green peas
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 7-10 hours (or HIGH for 5-6 hours).

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
Juice from 2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours).
Serve with tortillas and toppings such as with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Ro-Tel
1 each medium green & sweet red peppers julienned
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
squirt of lime juice

Place chicken, peppers, and onions in a freezer bag, set aside. In a mixing bowl mix all other ingredients together. Pour mixture over chicken, peppers, and onions. Close freezer bag and squish mixture around so all gets coated in seasoned mixture. FREEZE. The night before cooking place freezer bag in refrigerator. The next morning pour all contents into your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Take chicken out of crockpot, cut strips of chicken or shred and put back into the crockpot until ready to serve. Serve with tortillas, rice and beans, and all your favorite toppings!

PIZZA PASTA *Note, this recipe is for 2 recipes, so don't double this!!
2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (26 once) jars spaghetti sauce
16 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained
5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces sliced pepperoni

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in oil. Drain. Stir in pasta, spaghetti sauce, and 3 cups cheese. Place mixture in 2 greased 9x13 pans. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with pepperoni. Cover and freeze or bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until heated through

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February Freezer Menu

Well, so sorry I have been MIA, but there is a thing called life, that seems to get in the way sometimes. No, really, sorry I have not been good with blogging lately.
Next freezer cooking session is on it's way. I am posting the menu and recipes for it.

Toddler Friendly
corn dog muffins
mini pizza cups
mini meatloaf cups
instant omelets
mini spaghetti cups
mini peach cobblers
mini tamale pies
mini bisquick pot pies
strawberry banana muffins

Teriyaki Chicken
Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
Cilantro Lime Chicken w black beans and corn
Chicken Fajitas
French Chicken
Sweet BBQ Chicken
Creamy Italian Chicken
Cafe Rio Crockpot Chicken
Russian Stew

*please let me know what you think of our menu

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Freezer Recipes

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches 6-8 Chicken Breasts (1 for each family member, doubled) 2 cups of chicken broth 2 small cans of pineapple rings 2 red bell peppers sliced into thin strips 1large onion sliced into strips Provolone cheese Whole wheat buns or lettuce wraps Directions: Divide all contents evenly into two bags except cheese and buns/lettuce. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve chicken topped with pepper and onions under melted provolone cheese on a bun or lettuce warp. We actually like this with rice too! Savory Pepper Steak 3 pounds of roundsteak but into ½ inch thick strips. ½ cup flour 1 tsp of salt 1 tsp pepper 1 large onion chopped a few garlic cloves—I like to put 4-5 crushed into each bag 1 green peppers sliced 1 red peper sliced 2 16oz cans of tomatoes—I prefer Italian style 2 tbsp beef bouillon 4 tsp of Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp of steakseasoning 2 tbsp of steak sauce Directions: Toss steak strips in mixture of flour, salt and pepper. Mix together beef boullion,Worcestershire sauce, and steak sauce and divide evenly into two bags. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve with rice and a side salad. Scalloped Potatoes andHam 12 new potatoes and cut into ¼ inch round slices or a large bag of frozen potatoes 2 cans of cream ofyour choice—I used potato 2 cans of water 2 ham steaks, cubed--we used turkey ham 8 oz cheddar cheese 4 cups of broccoli salt and pepper Directions: Divide everything evenly into two containers. Cook on low for 8 hours. Salsa Chicken 6-8 chicken breasts 2 15 oz. cans of black beans 1 family size frozenbag of corn 2 cans of dicedtomatoes and green chilies 1 jar of salsa 1 packet of tacoseasoning 2 cups of cheddarcheese Directions: Divide everything except cheese evenly into two bags. Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice or on corn tortillas with rice as a side.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What a wonderful idea to put shelves in between studs in the basement! Perfect idea and very frugal!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Food Storage Beef Stroganoff

1 cup dried onions 1 cup water 1/4 cup olive oil 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper 4 to 6 cups water 1 Tbsp. dried garlic 8 to 10 beef bouillon cubes 3 cans (4 oz each) sliced mushrooms, with liquid 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce 3 Tbsp ketchup 2 cans (15 oz each) beef chunks, with liquid 1 cup dried sour cream, reconstituted with 1/2 cup water 10 cups water 1 tsp salt 6 cups uncooked wide noodles Rehydrate onions in water for 15 min. Drain. Pour olive oil into a large pot on high heat. Add onions, cook for 2 min. Add flour, salt, pepper, mix well with oil and onions, then pour in 4 to 6 cups water and continue to mix. Add garlic, bouillon, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and liquid from beef chunks. Turn heat down to medium and continue to stir and thicken for 30 min. Add beef, being careful not to break apart chunks. Stir sour cream into the stew. Boil 10 cups salted water in a large pot. Add noodles and cook until tender. Drain well and then serve beef mixture over noodles. Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Frugal, it doesn't mean being cheap it means being SMART!

There are so many sayings that we all have heard time and again. Some may be ,"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without", which is one of my favorites; there are so many others. *Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely *"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." --Albert Einstein Well I have just tried so hard to do what I could to use it up, everything, not be wasteful. When there are leftovers (save them and freeze them) how many times recently that I was going to throw away a little corn or green beans that were left and at the time not worth saving, keeping them in a small container in the freezer, after a couple weeks there's enough different veggies in there for a "FREE" meal of wonderful beef veggie soup! Wear it out - I am losing alot of weight (Thank Goodness!) so instead of having the fun LOL and the cost of buying more clothes I just keep taking them in! I am grateful for anything friends or neighbors give me for my kids or anything else for that matter and I use it the best that I can! I bought a bunch of fleece pajama pants that ended up being way to big for Brian and instead of taking them back because they were only $2.00 per set of pajamas, I used the material for the pants and used that to make the boys new fleece hats and matching mittens. Then the shirts I took in and remade them so I could wear them. I also when going through the boys clothes try to find other uses than clothes for them. I think I already blogged about this too but I picked up two king size sheets at a thrift store close to us for .99 cents and ended up cutting them into squares and made 44 (approx.) cloth napkins! Can't buy material for that price! Please share with me what ways you are trying to be more frugal and smart! I would love to hear and learn from your ideas as well!

Cookie Storage

Ah, don't forget about yummies in your food storage! What a great idea! I found this on none other than Pinterest, my fav! I loved this idea, I am going to try it here and I will post my pic's this weekend. I just loved the idea!
Ok blog readers, so we are working hard at building our food storage. Now, they emphasize eat what you store, store what you eat. I don't know about your family but mine love sweets! Sugar! So we are always TRYING to keep a decent storage of chocolate, cookie making supplies, chocolate, sugar, etc. I am sharing some of my families favorite treat recipes along with the links of where they came from. Enjoy, and don't forget to add CHOCOLATE to your food storage ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

No Wheat Grinder?

Sometimes we don't realize that there are plenty of ways to use our wheat even if we don't have a wheat grinder of mill. Here are just a few ways to think about using wheat and remember just do a couple at a time, too much wheat at one time can cause digestion problems:( *Add wheat to soups and stews in the crockpot (stretches and fills tummies) *Wheat Berries - add some wheat berries to a pot of boiling water, bring back to boil,after about 45 min. drain off water, put in a container in the fridge, tastes great added on top of ice cream, yogurt, bananas, can use in place of nuts. *Grow wheat grass - very easy to do *Popped wheat - use your wheat berries and cook in a skillet with a little oil, you cover with lid and shake, in about 4-5 min it will be lightly toasted and adding a little cinnamon sugar after drained on paper towel, these are a great snack! *Cracked wheat - put wheat kernels into a coffee grinder, pulse a few times, has a resemblance of steel cut oats, cooks quicker and can be used as a filler in ground beef or again in soups or stews.
NO, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I promise! I have been so so busy! I have now been able to quit my fulltime day job and be at home again and doing licensed home childcare. I am loving it! I forgot really how much I missed being at home! So I will be getting back on track helping you learn how to use your long term food storage, freezer cooking, dehydrating, and anything else that deals with food storage and building and using it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wonderful site that has 40 meals to make for the freezer!